There’s a handful of dinner recipes that are my “go to” recipes. The kind of recipes that aren’t time-consuming, are able to be cooked with a two-year old tugging at my pant leg, include a small list of ingredients, are affordable and can be easily doubled. Those are my requirements for a “go to” recipe. Oh yeah, and they gotta taste really good! That’s a requirement. Here are my dinner “go to’s” in no particular order:
I stopped buying pizza dough in the supermarket and now just make my own using Jim Lahey’s recipe. It always comes out thin and crunchy, just how I like it. Here’s his dough topped with traditional mozzarella cheese and sauce. I followed my dad’s method of toppings. His pizza is awesome too.
two 8 oz. bags shredded mozzarella cheese, make one the 4-cheese blend
jar of pizza sauce, any kind will do
salt and pepper
optional toppings: pepperoni, cooked sausage, mushrooms, peppers, sliced onions, anchovies, you name it.
After your dough is in the pan, evenly spread the shredded mozzarella over top, being sure to get the edges. Using a soup spoon, add a dolup of pizza sauce over the pizza every 2-3 inches. Don’t spread it around. Sprinkle with oregano, basil, and salt and pepper, as much or as little as you like. Sprinkle with a little olive oil over the pizza. Add whatever other toppings you’d like. Bake in 500 degree oven for 15-20 minutes being sure not to burn the cheese. Slice into squares and enjoy.
I promised I’d post it so here it is…..Jim Lahey’s Zucchini Pizza. So good. I brought it to the Big Game party and it didn’t last too long on the platter. Its a one day process and you can serve it hot from the oven or at room temperature. The dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas so you can use half and freeze the other half for one month. Slice it up. Oh ya, I expect to hear how yours came out Mr. Hardiman
Pizza Dough (Adapted from My Bread by Jim Lahey)
3-3/4 cups bread flour
2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp plus pinch of sugar
1-1/3 cup room temp. water (72 degrees)
extra virgin olive oil
1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. The dough is a bit stiff so I added a tiny bit more water to be sure all the ingredients were incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic and towel and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
2. Oil a 13-by-18 inch rimmed baking sheet. Cut dough in half with a bowl scraper and scrap half the dough onto the oiled pan. Gently pull and stretch the dough across the surface of the pan, and use your hands to press it evenly out to the edges. If the dough sticks to your fingers, lightly dust it with flour or coat your hands with oil. It will be very thin all around. The dough is ready to top.
Zucchini Pizza (Adapted from My Bread by Jim Lahey)
2-1/2 pounds, about 3 large zucchini, trimmed, not peeled
1-1/2 tsp table salt
2 cups Gruyère cheese, grated
1/2 recipe pizza dough
2 to 2-1/2 Tbsp bread crumbs, preferably homemade
1. Preheat oven the 500 degrees with a rack in the center.
2. Use a food processor with a grater attachment or a box grater to grate the zucchini. In a medium bowl, toss together the zucchini and salt. Let stand for 15 – 20 minutes, until the zucchini has wilted and released its water.
3. Drain the zucchini in a colander, then use your hand to squeeze out as much water as possible, then pat dry. The drier the better. In a medium bowl, toss together the zucchini and cheese, breaking up any clumps of zucchini, until well mixed.
4. Spread the zucchini mixture over the dough, going all the way to the edges of the pan; put a bit more topping around the edges of the pie, as the outside tends to cook and brown more quickly. Sprinkle evenly with the bread crumbs.
5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until the topping is starting to turn golden brown and the crust is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven, cut with pizza cutter, serve.